History May 06, 2018 at 08:07 am

Meet George Stinney, the youngest person to be executed by electrocution in the US

Nduta Waweru May 06, 2018 at 08:07 am

May 06, 2018 at 08:07 am | History

By State of South Carolina Public Domain.

George Stinney was just 14 when he was executed by a jury on June 16, 1944.

His crime: murder.

He became America’s youngest person to be executed by the electric chair.

How it all began

On March 24, 1944, Betty June Binnicker (11) and Emma Thames (7), both white, were out in the fields looking for maypops.  They came across two black children, George and his sister Amie. They asked them if they know where they would find maypops, and after George and Amie said they had no idea, the girls walked on.

The bodies of the two girls were found the next day, in a muddy ditch.  They had both suffered blunt force trauma to the head and face.

George was arrested on suspicion of murdering the two girls, alongside his elder brother Johnny. While Johnny was released, George was kept back and was not allowed to see his parents.

The background of George’s fights in school and a confession against him by one of the white women, claiming that he had threatened her and her friend, were used against him.

Consequently, his father was fired from his work and the family were forced out of the house, which was provided by his father’s employer.

Since he could not see anyone, George was questioned alone.

It took only 1o minutes for the all-white jury to come with the guilty conviction.

George was sent to die by electrocution.

On June 16, 1944, at 7:30 p.m, George was executed at the Central Correctional Institution in Columbia. Eighty-three days had passed since the murder of the two girls.

Just a child, George was too small and the officers had a hard time placing him into the frame that has the electrodes. The mask was also too small for George and slipped off after the initial electrocution.

He was dead within four minutes.

The case was reopened in 2014, with new information that provided George’s alibi.  The siblings stated that George was with them and an affidavit by a local pastor was provided thus questioning George’s involvement.

Judge Carmen Mullen vacated the conviction in December 2014, 70 years after George’s conviction.

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